The GCC would like to send a huge thank you to all those who took part in our inaugural GunksFest this past weekend with our partners at the Stone Mountain Farm.
It truly took a village to make it happen, and what a village it was. Community came out in force, with folks teaming up to go climb and boulder together in perfect crisp Fall temps. Climbers kept all the ropes at the Grotto busy, enjoying routes from 5.4 to 5.11+, and boulderers were treated to tours of the classic problems out in the Waterworks area.
Most of our clinics sold out, from the beginner-friendly “How to be a Good Second” by Dr. Richard Goldstone to the hands-on passive pro master class led by the Bank Manger himself Rich Romano. Genuine Climbing’s Anyssa Lucena and Jobi Gabrielli led two sold-out women-specific sessions on safe-descent – we are so grateful they were able to attend and create this unique learning environment. Dr. Miguel Zavallos held one-on-one custom sessions with his PT and Rehab for Climbers session, and Rachel Wyman (trailruns) and Yoga instructors Laura Obringer and Hannah Fox got folks moving in the cold mornings.
Alpine Endeavors offered a host of climbing programming, and, as with all clinic leaders, graciously offered one slot for free per clinic to our JEDI scholarship participants. The guide teams and clinic leaders handled the education component, while the folks over at Athletic Brewing helped cover the other half of our GunksFest scholarship program: covering all expenses for not only our scholarship recipients but also the members of our JEDI Panel: Roshni Brahmbhatt (Executive Director of NYCCC), Denny Kowska (founder of Paracliffhangers), Selene Hernandez (BIPOC Climbing Collective) Britany Leavitt (CEO of Brown Girls Climb), and Marjana Tafader (mentor and former mentee of Kinship Climbing Collective).
Sunday’s program content included a Preventative Search and Rescue presentation by the Mohonk Preserve Rangers, following on the heels of their sold-out hands-on clinic on Emergency First Response at the cliff.
Arc’Teryx NYC sponsored our two contests: blindfolded knot-tying and a test of balance dreamed up by an attendee named Sue. The top-tying time came in at a blazing 10 seconds by Elizabeth, and if you’ve never tried tying in a tree with a figure-8 knot blindfolded it is no easy task. 17 seconds was the time to beat on the log balance challenge, and Lucas went undefeated to claim his prize.
Campers and attendees braved the cold nights, both for the film program and to browse all our visiting vendors, offering everything from climbing-specific clothing to local maple syrup made at the foot of the Antlion cliff. And we were all nourished by Rabble Rise Donuts in the morning, and the Rail Trail Café and Baba Love food truck in the evenings.
Our event would have never been possible without the support of our sponsors (our presenting sponsor the Gravity Vault, our contest sponsor Arc’Teryx NYC, and of course our local Rock & Snow), our countless volunteers, and was truly held together by community. It’s been a dream of ours to host such a festival, and we look forward to growing it next year even bigger.
Until then, enjoy some photos from the weekend and we hope the Fall climbing season offers you the best the Gunks has to offer!
Photos by: Chris Vultaggio, Simon Shin, William Moratz.